Skip Navigation

Ecological Footprints

Travel Forums Off Topic Ecological Footprints

Page

Last Post

21. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

I can see why it would contribute so much though. Flying is very taxing on our environments in so many ways.

Quoting Peter

there's no way I'm giving up milk, eggs and meat on a daily basis. It's just not going to happen.

Is it because you like them so much?

22. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Yeah, I can see why flying contributes so much as well. I just wish it allowed me to input something a bit more precise if it's going to make such a big difference. Because there's a big difference between 25 hours and 100 hours of flying and I'm not really near either of those! I'm still surprised that it influences goods/services, when I would have thought it would classify firmly as 'mobility'.

And yes, I like my eggs, milk and meat. I buy free range, locally farmed eggs and chicken (it actually tastes a million times better too) and now I've even started buying organic milk in reusable glass bottles. I've bought organic meat a few times as well recently (though it is outrageously expensive) and generally have been cutting down on red meat (which I understand is the one that has the most impact). So I really don't believe that my impact is as bad as they make out - they just tend to assume that people don't look into the products they buy. It's the nature of surveys like this though.

And to be honest, I think rice is actually far worse for the Australian environment than eggs or milk. The amount of water used to cultivate rice is quite simply atrocious when you consider what a dry country we are. It is something like 10% of the entire water usage of Australia. All this while our countryside turns into a giant salt plain. :(

23. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Quoting Brendan

Flying is very taxing on our environments in so many ways.

Is it really ? How so ?

24. Posted by Isadora (Travel Guru 13926 posts) 10y

CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 4.2
MOBILITY 0.2
SHELTER 10.4
GOODS/SERVICES 7.2
TOTAL FOOTPRINT 22

IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 4.5 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE ACRES PER PERSON.

IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 4.9 PLANETS.

I'm a carnivore and own a house...

25. Posted by angela_ (Respected Member 1732 posts) 10y

CATEGORY GLOBAL HECTARES

FOOD 1.3

MOBILITY 0.5

SHELTER 0.9

GOODS/SERVICES 1.6

TOTAL FOOTPRINT 4.3


IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 9 GLOBAL HECTARES PER PERSON.

WORLDWIDE, THERE EXIST 1.8 BIOLOGICALLY PRODUCTIVE GLOBAL HECTARES PER PERSON.




IF EVERYONE LIVED LIKE YOU, WE WOULD NEED 2.4 PLANETS.

26. Posted by beerman (Respected Member 1631 posts) 10y

This study is quite flawed, otherwise Isa and I would be living in the same house.......

I think my score should be higher...dammit, I'm trying.....I drive everywhere, I eat meat with abandon, I swill liquor, and recycle everything. In Spring, we make meat helmets, and in Summer, we grow much of our own food, organically. Weird, no?

It seems a little condescending as well..."If everyone lived like you, we'd need more planets...." Excuse me...F*** you, you little sh**, who the hell are you, Mr. Science? You know sh** about the Earth? Go blog yourself...

But I digress.....



CATEGORY ACRES
FOOD 6.9
MOBILITY 2
SHELTER 15.8
GOODS/SERVICES 12.1

TOTAL FOOTPRINT 37
IN COMPARISON, THE AVERAGE ECOLOGICAL FOOTPRINT IN YOUR COUNTRY IS 24 ACRES PER PERSON.

27. Posted by Brendan (Respected Member 1824 posts) 10y

Beerman! Find your happy place... I sense some hostility!

As for Q-Tip, there are many facets to the problems aviation creates. Noise pollution, air pollution, visual pollution (as far as blemished sky's full of contrails).

Noise pollution effects everyone in earshot. When a jet or helicopter passes over-head it's all you can hear. There are also studies into the adverse health effects as a result of noise pollution (environmental noise). One prominent example is in Northern Alberta, (This isn't specifically aircraft) but the constant drone of noise from: factories, plants, equipment, vehicles, helicopters, planes, air-cannons adversly effect the local environment. The result is disrupted mating patterns and grazing patterns of wildlife. Many birds in the area do not mate because of the constant noise. They are stressed and now populations are the decline.

This isn't even taking into account the pollutants in the ecosystem.

Humans are also at risk of course.

Hearing

The mechanism for chronic exposure to noise leading to hearing loss is well established. The elevated sound levels cause trauma to the cochlear structure in the inner ear, which gives rise to irreversible hearing loss The pinna (visible portion of the human ear) combined with the middle ear amplifies sound levels by a factor of 20 when sound reaches the inner ear. In Rosen's seminal work on serious health effects regarding hearing loss and coronary artery disease, one of his findings derived from tracking Maaban tribesmen, who were insignificantly exposed to transportation or industrial noise. This population was systematically compared by cohort group to a typical U.S. population. The findings proved that aging is an almost insignificant cause of hearing loss, which instead is associated with chronic exposure to moderately high levels of environmental noise.
[edit]

Cardiovascular health

High noise levels can contribute to Cardiovascular effects and exposure to the reference sound level during a single day would cause a statistical rise in blood pressure of five to ten mmHg; a clear and measurable increase in stress (medicine) [1]; and vasoconstriction leading to the increased blood pressure noted above as well as to increases in coronary artery disease.
[edit]

Other effects

There are also potential adverse effects on libido and sexual performance. Health aspects receive less notice than annoyance effects [2]. Occupational stress is identified in a recent U.S. national survey to encompass one fourth of all occurrences of this phenomenon, and noise was identified by the National Institutes of Health as a leading cause of workplace stress[3].

Air pollution is perhaps one of the most important aspects. According to some aviation pollution accounts for upto 10% of current rates. Which will get worse as more and more people fly more and more places.

Pollutants from more than five million civil and nearly 2,800 military flights each year are destroying Earth’s protective ozone layer and stealing blue skies, while accounting for more than 10% of global greenhouse warming. With 27,000 heavy jetliners scheduled to enter service by 2017—more than doubling the current fleet—a recent British government report calls aerial gridlock a “risk to planet”—and urges travelers to refuse short-haul flights and take the train instead.

Jet emissions linger long in the clear, cold, calm of the stratosphere, modifying Earth’s atmosphere about 100-times longer than when released near the ground. Airbus Industries warns that the biggest jet pollutants—nitrogen oxides—are also the most worrisome.

A National Science Foundation study estimates that in heavy air traffic corridors across the USA, “cloud cover has increased by as much as 20 percent” since the jet age took off in the 1960s. Cloud cover over Germany increased by 10% during the same period.

------------
P.S
------------

Another interesting thing that I have come across was a report released by the WHO (not the band) researching into the effects of "cosmic-radiation".

Cosmis Radiation is an ionizing radiation. Radiation particles constantly travel through the universe and reach the Earth's atmosphere. At sea level 'CR' contributes about 13% of the natural background radiation.

The level of CR in the atmosphere depends primarily on four factors, listed below in order of importance in contributing to the radiation level:

1) Altitude - The Earth's atmospheric layer provides significant shielding from cosmic radiation. The radiation exposure at conventional aircraft flight alititudes of 30,000 - 40,000 ft. (9-12km) is about 100 times higher than on the ground.

2)Geographic Latitude - The Earth's magnetic field deflects many CR particles that would otherwise reach ground level. This shielding is most effective at the equator and decreases at higher latitudes, essentially disappearing at the poles. As a result, there is approximately a doubling of CR exposure from the equator to the magnetic poles.

3) Normal Solar Activity - The sun's activity varies in a predictable way with a cycle of approximately 11 years. Higher solar activity leads to lower CR levels and vice versa.

4) Solar Proton Events - Occasionally large explosive ejections of charged particles occur on the sun. They can lead to sudden increases in radiation levels in the atmosphere and on Earth. SPE's are not predictable, and levels of radiation caused by and SPE are not uniform over the earth. Large SPE's in which significant levels of CR reach Earth are rare events.

Aircrews in many countries are now recognised as occupationally exposed to radiation, and radiation protection limits for aircrew are similar to those established for nuclear workers.

28. Posted by Peter (Admin 5789 posts) 10y

Quoting Brendan

Cosmis Radiation is an ionizing radiation. Radiation particles constantly travel through the universe and reach the Earth's atmosphere. At sea level 'CR' contributes about 13% of the natural background radiation.

This reminds me of a documentary I saw recently about the possibility of a worldwide magnetic flip. Ie, magnetic north would become magnetic south. Because the earth's magnetic field also helps shield us from Cosmic Radiation, during such a reversal the field is weakened and we would be exposed to a great deal more radiation as a result. Not 'end of life on earth' kind of stuff, but still pretty drastic. Interesting stuff. Google for 'earth's magnetic flip' for more info :)

29. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

Some people, like me, like the look of airplane contrails.

An airport is a relatively confined source of noise. Compared to highways, cities and farms which have a much greater impact on ecosystems.

The air pollution I know about. That's one of the reasons the Concord was retired, and why every major engine maker in the world are spending billions to improve their emission standards. I don't see how switching to trains or ships helps since you'll generate more pollution moving the same number of people the same distance taking a much longer time so you have to burn more fuel ? It's just switching the pollution source around and getting in people's way. Seems like a gutt reaction bandaide solution rather than addressing the real problems.

You do realize that airfreight is a large portion of the world's aircraft fleets ? And those are generally aircraft of a much older generation with much lower maintenance standards than passenger carrying aircraft.

I wonder what the mortality rate of air crews are compared to say...police officiers ? Airline pilots and stwardesses are already given extra leave time compared to most workers.

30. Posted by Q' (Travel Guru 1987 posts) 10y

The arguments for air travel are the same for any form of public transit. You localize the source of the pollutants to a specific area, then you set the regulators and engineers loose on the problem. Aircraft are by far the most heavily regulated and monitored form of transport. ICAO (which is a UN organization) sets the standards for the world's airlines and airports and the emission test results for various engines are on its website. The GE TAPS combustor and P&W Talon II combustor are the latest technological responses to the standards.

http://www.iata.org/whatwedo/environment/aircraft_emissions.htm
http://www.itp.net/business/features/details.php?id=4167&category=

Personally, I don't see why we would want to discourage Kyoto Protocol leaders ?

http://www.icao.int/icao/en/nr/1997/pio199725_e.pdf